Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season Three

After two successful seasons, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has firmly established its quick sense of humor and unique, pastel style. Instead of a major shift, season three finds creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock buckling down on the show's quirks. As we travel deeper into Kimmy's world, its flaws grow more pronounced, even though its charms remain as irresistible as ever.

It's been two years since Kimmy was rescued from that fateful bunker and was introduced to the modern world. Her naivete and stunted emotional growth has served as the ultimate source of both humor and plot for the bulk of the series. But as the saying goes, the show must go on, and the time has come for this charming Midwestern gal to grow up. Season three finds Kimmy trying to do just that, beginning her college search and planning her career. Unfortunately, her traumatic past continues to haunt and suffocate her.

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And she's not the only one suffering from an life crisis. Her roommate/BFF Titus is back early from a failed gig on a cruise, and must struggle with his own selfishness as his relationship with construction worker Mike hits a major rough patch. Their landlord Lillian fights against the gentrification of their seedy neighborhood, fearing that progress would only lead to the destruction of all that she holds dear. And former trophy wife (and Kimmy's old employer) Jacqueline deals with her new boyfriend's rich, horrible family as she works to change the name of the Washington Redskins.

Sound heavy? It could've been, but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is far too frivolous to be taken seriously. Jokes, references, and physical comedy fly from the screen at such volume that it's difficult to process them all. That will always be the series's purpose, and it's better than ever here. The core quartet of characters are so well established at this point that the ridiculous interactions and deliveries feel effortless. Titus, a fan favorite since the days of "Pinot Noir," is especially brilliant here: his absurdly dramatic war against physical activity, nerds, and scurvy supplies most of the laughs throughout the thirteen new episodes.

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And yet, that consistently great humor, alongside the bubbly music and setting, ends up clashing with the more adult themes that surface throughout the season. There are bits on sexual misconduct in the workplace, feminism (this has always been a staple of the show, but it is expanded upon here), liberalism on college campuses, and romantic infidelity. Sometimes, these subjects are incorporate well into the tone of the show, but other times the bits fall flat.

Season three of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is not disappointing, but it does call into question the show's future. Right now, there's some tension between the light, optimistic delivery of the show and the mature content it's beginning to cover. As the writers inevitably start work on the next installment, they need to take a decisive stance on what kind of comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt really is.

Overall

7

out of 10